The Airlines of America (American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines) made the 55 page white paper public on Thursday accusing of Gulf airlines of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways of unfair trade practices.
If these airlines are found to be receiving government subsidies, the United States can null the open skies agreement it has with United Arab Emirates and Qatar that was probably negotiated at times when nobody knew that the airlines from these countries would become global heavyweights.
You can access the Financial Times article here (could be beyond paywall for some).
Here is an excerpt from that piece:
The carriers claim that the alleged subsidies violate provisions of so-called open skies agreements liberalising air routes between the US and both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
The US campaign wants the Obama administration to hold talks with Qatar and the UAE “to address the flow of subsidised [aircraft] capacity [by Gulf carriers] to the US, and requesting a freeze on new passenger service during the consultations”.
None of the three Gulf carriers immediately responded to requests to comment on the US airlines’ claims but Emirates has previously denied it receives any form of subsidy.
The US campaign claimed that Emirates, the largest of the three main Gulf carriers, received $6.8bn in subsidies and “unfair benefits” between 2004 and 2014, while it said Etihad obtained $17bn and Qatar $17bn.
I just downloaded the 55 page long white paper and presentation that came with it. Will read it through on my Etihad flight tonight and post my thoughts of it tomorrow.